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As most of you know, we just wrapped up our annual International Shelby Conference (ISC) last Friday and the results were better than we could have imagined. Many of you took to Twitter to share and document your time spent at the conference. We got some great feedback about the classes, the giveaways, the performances and the new relationships that were formed. Here is some of what was said: “Just sent my 1st email in @shelbysystems It was so easy, thanks to what I learned at #isc2011” -@emily_e_simmons “Just got home from #ISC2011. Great conference, learned a lot and met a bunch of awesome people.” -@alex_nicoletti “I cannot believe I won an iPad 2 from #ISC2011#ECFA. Thank you so much. I love @shelbysystems Conferences.” – @Donnie_Payne “Thank you Shelby!! What an incredible testimony and power worship this morning with Nicole C. Mullen at #ISC2011” – @batteberry “Thanks everyone @shelbysystems @ShelbyISC @OurArena for a great #isc2011 and your dedication to equipping churches for greater effectiveness” – @JonathanESmith A comment from a customer that couldn’t make it… “Wishing I was going to #ISC2011 this year, especially to rock Arena better. You are gonna learn a boat load of stuff!” – @RobinMArnold …and a comment left by another customer specifically about the software… @shelbysystems LOVE your software. It helps our staff to “get the job done”.” – @DebRosevear

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Have you ever asked your congregation this question? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Is it because of a paycheck, because it’s routine, because you will be judged if you don’t? Do you want me to keep asking questions? It can be pretty interesting to hear people’s honest answers when you ask them why they go to church every week. “I was raised to always go on Sundays.” “My wife goes and I don’t want to be the “bad one” that stays home.” “… I will be fired if I don’t go.” All good reasons. Some churches have focused on renovations in order to make themselves more attractive. Many ministries have put in coffee shops, lounging areas, etc. These kinds of changes bring people in, make them feel comfortable, then allow them to hear the message. Other churches rely on different kinds of attendance motivators. How does your church attract new members?


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Well… tomorrow is the last day of ISC, so today is when we get to pack in the last of the all-day classes and announce the winners from our raffle. So many of our exhibitors and friends donated items to be given away, including iPads, iPods, gift cards, personal document printers, a 3 night stay at the hotel for ISC 2012 and everyone’s favorite… money! These last few days have been a blast and all of the hard work that went into planning this year’s ISC has really paid off. Tomorrow will be the closing session and we will be holding two more classes after breakfast before everyone starts heading home. We’ve loved getting to meet so many new people this year as well as seeing some familiar faces. It is an honor to work with some of the nicest people and to get the chance to serve them every day.

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Today was the end of checking people in to ISC and the start of our official classes. General Sessions also started today and we gathered for breakfast first thing, Ryan Fonseca opened us up with an incredible worship time. Everyone has been visiting our vendors along vendor row and attending the dozens of classes to learn more about Shelby and Arena software, financials, website content, social media and more. So far the day is flying by and the feedback is very positive. We are so blessed to have the exhibitors that have been so gracious and the customers that make this entire event so wonderful. If you would like to follow the conference on Twitter use the hashtag #ISC2011.

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The booth’s been put up, the giveaways are laid out, the vendors are setting up and the first ISC attendees are checking in. It’s another sunny day in San Antonio and everyone’s excited to see the familiar faces of past attendees as well as the first-timers. Today is the first day that we’re seeing customers in the Lone Star State and it is my first taste (ever) of what ISC will be like. So far it has been a lot of fun! On today’s schedule, we have: Sales demos, Pre-ISC classes, conference and Arena Developer Summit check-in and a first-time attendee meeting. If you wont be attending ISC this year, be sure you don’t miss out in 2012!

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As many of you know, Shelby’s annual conference (ISC) is approaching in just two days. We have been hard at work getting everything set up and prepared to make it look great for all of our vendors and attendees. It’s a hot and sunny day in this year’s conference city, San Antonio, TX, and the view of the Alamo from the front of our conference area is breathtaking. We are so excited to see everyone and hope that if you are attending, you have a safe and enjoyable trip. See you soon!


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There has been a lot of talk lately about people in the spotlight who have made some bad decisions, hurt their families and bruised their reputations. I really enjoyed Michael Hyatt’s post on Monday about the difference between a sin and a mistake. I also liked Todd Rhoades’ post about how to take Anthony Weiner’s situation and learn from it so that we don’t make those same decisions. This is some of what he had to say while reflecting on Weiner’s actions:
Don’t defame Jesus by lying, cheating, scheming. Be truthful. Be 100% truthful. All the time. Even when it hurts. Even when you make a mistake. Even when it will certainly make you look bad, or silly, or cheap, or sinful. Be honest. Be transparent.
I was also really humbled by the Grace Evan blog post that reminds us not to judge. We are not smarter, more clever or less sinful than these people involved in the recent scandals. Every morning on my way to work, I tune into one of the local morning talk shows to keep me entertained on my 30 minute drive. I’ll be honest, I don’t feel like a better person or more knowledgeable when I get out of the car, but I enjoy listening because the content can be so shocking. One day a week, this station will ask listeners to call in and talk about a confession that they have so that in return, they are eligible to win free concert tickets. I like to think that a lot of the stories are made up, but regardless of whether they are or not, the radio hosts always let the people know that they are not there to judge. They do a pretty good job of staying true to that, too. The funny thing about all of this is that we are so intrigued when we hear about other people’s sins and mistakes and we are so comfortable sitting back and criticizing. The radio station encourages stories littered with bad decisions, but even they make the choice not to judge because they understand the consequences that come with sin and of ridiculing others. There has always and will always be sin in this world. We need to take these stories and grow from them.


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We’ve all seen them. Some of us have probably even had one or two. The Facebook picture that looks nothing like your true self. I was inspired to write this after seeing a post on Mashable about Bergdorf Goodman and Lucky Magazine holding a casting call for models via Facebook. I first thought about how much pressure that would be to decide on which picture of yourself you would want to turn in, since you would want your make-up, the lighting and the pose to be just right. Then I thought… there’s a need to look somewhat like your real self, since you run the “risk” of winning and revealing what you look like without all of the camera tricks. I then thought, “People’s glamorous Facebook pictures are a lot like people who attend church every Sunday but lead very secular lives during the week.” “How?” you might ask. Well, we all want to make the right impression and we all want to be perceived in the best light (light in this sense being one’s reputation or personality). Just like the Facebook picture that only changes how you are viewed online, church only changes the way people think of you at church. Changing your heart and growing as a Christian make you the person you truly are designed to become. Do you think we spend more time pretending to be good, nice Christians than we do actually working to be more like Christ?